As many times as I cry out to God, he is always there. He listens to my pleas, he answers me in the stillness of the night, and when I am most vulnerable, he sends someone to comfort me. The fiery trial remains, but through my prayers I feel him listening to me; I feel him reassuring me. His word renders my troubles as a fleeting wind. He provides the perseverance I need to move forward. He supplies the strength I need to overcome adversity:
“I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes. Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer. All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.” (Psalm 6:6-10)
True happiness is to love God. Everything else, the pursuit of riches, the wanting desires of the heart, the need to love and be loved, aside from God, will leave us empty and continually searching for purpose and meaning. There will come a time in our lives when we will stand before God and he will ask, “What have you done with your life?” And if all we could say is, “I became a world-renowned pianist,” or “I wrote hundreds of bestsellers,” or “I climbed Mount Everest,” or “I became CEO of the largest and most successful company on Earth,” God will then ask, “Did you love me?”
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)
Apart from loving others, loving God should be our calling throughout our lives. No other commandment is greater than to give oneself wholly to God in service for his glory. That means not only in word but also in action. God would like us to love him in a way that would change us to think like him. What would Jesus do? But the question really is, what would we do apart from God? If we did not love God, what would our lives look like without that love? We do not want to stand before God one day to have him ask, “Did you love me?”
Everyone has a bucket list these days. Seems like the right thing to do. For Freedom Friday, I thought I’d share my own bucket list. And since it’s the New Year, I figure I could double up by also presenting this post as a 2014 wish list of sorts. I hope that makes sense. I’m sure you’ll muddle through it.
Let me preface every wish with the following intro: In 2014…
…I wish I didn’t have to wait in line anymore, such as when I’m shopping and the line comes to an abrupt halt by a thrifty shopper five places ahead because they want a price check on the cocktail olives they’re going to consume with their martini later that evening before passing out in a drunken stupor.
…I wish I’ll finally be able to find a parking spot closer to the mall entrance rather than two-hundred car lengths in the middle of nowhere forcing me to walk the distance of a mile to get to that precious birthday gift that in a year no one will remember.
…I wish drivers will leave the passing lane open to those of us who actually want to use it as a passing lane therefore allowing us to get to our destinations without feeling we owe them our firstborn.
…I wish I will never have to worry about brain freeze ever again.
…I wish the water fountains at the mall didn’t spurt torrential rain when I lean into them forcing me to walk outside soaked and drying my hair with a towel.
…I wish I’ll have the opportunity to say, “Two hundred channels and there’s so much on.”
…I wish my “please” will not mean “step lively” but instead those hearing it will understand it as my way of saying “haul ass” as in, “Can you haul ass and get that for me?”
…I wish food manufacturers will not fill half a bag of chips with air.
…I wish Spider-Man will make an appearance in the next Avengers movie.
…I wish when I’m looking for the salt shaker I discover it in the same place where I’d left it instead of finding the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, ginger, coriander, cumin, black pepper, chili pepper, cayenne pepper, clove, savory, marjoram, sage, and all the other exotic spices we have in our culinary arsenal we call a kitchen cabinet.
These will do for now. I’m not interested in vast riches, wealth or anything like that. Although it would be cool to wish for a comfortable life, I don’t make it a priority. So many other things in life are way more important anyway. Nothing quite like a good chat or sharing a meal with friends. I suppose as long as everyone gets along, that’s all that matters.
Let’s make it official. In 2014 I wish everyone would get along.